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Manhunt Leads To Gunman’s Arrest



Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office and Missouri Highway Patrol personnel were involved in a two-day search for an armed suspect last week.

It ended last Thursday, when Farmington Police took Bobby Lee Stevens into custody.

Stevens, 47, allegedly fired on law enforcement personnel on Highway 32 in western Ste. Genevieve County on the evening of May 10 (Tuesday).

Highway 32 was shut down much of Tuesday evening, with armed patrolmen on hand and a helicopter taking part in the search.

Stevens was charged with two counts of assault first degree on a law enforcement officer, two counts of armed criminal action and one count of burglary second degree. All five charges are felonies.

“Yesterday, deputies responded to the 8500 block of Highway 32 for an alleged burglary in progress,” the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office posted on its Facebook page last week. “Upon arrival, deputies were told the alleged suspect had left the residence and headed south across Highway 32 and down a long driveway.

“The Sheriffs Office deployed their K-9 and started to track the alleged suspect. The track led into a wooded area and as the deputies were following the K-9, shots rang out towards their direction.

“Deputies tracking the alleged suspect decided to stop the track and took cover. Multiple resources were brought in to assist in the manhunt.”

Stevens also had an additional felony warrant out of a neighboring county.

Jason Schott, chief deputy, said that law enforcement personnel try to stay on their toes, never knowing when they may walk into a situation like this one, with a live shooter or other danger. In March, two Bonne Terre police officers were shot responding to a call. One of them was killed. In April 2021, meanwhile, Ste. Genevieve Police officer Pete Unverferth was responding to a call when a suspect hit him with a Molotov cocktail, putting him in the hospital.

“Anytime we get any call for service, we don’t know what we’re getting into until we get there,” Schott said. “We’re just trying to take every call and take precaution for the unknown. Our officers are trained to think about that unknown and to be tactically safe. You never know when things happen.”